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Aug 31, 2013

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Virginia vs. BYU – Postgame Coach and Player Quotes (UVa & BYU)
Aug. 30, 2013

Virginia Coach Mike London Quotes

Thoughts on the defense:
“I thought they did a great job of bending, but not breaking. They came up with big plays when they had to; specifically on third downs. My hat goes off to the defensive coaches for their efforts. We didn’t get a lot better tonight, but that was a great football team.”

Thoughts on Anthony Harris lateral after interception:
“Just don’t fumble it. It was a great play by Anthony Harris. I don’t know about the lateral play, but we had possession at that time. That was the turning point. The field goal by [Ian] Frye, the safety, and other big plays in the game turned it around for us. But that was tremendous.”

On character of team and adversity with the severe weather:
“That was amazing. I’m just so proud of this team. It was a long game and that was a very good football team. To have it go like that on our opening game against a well-coached team was great. We are looking forward to our next game. We can be happy now, but we cannot be satisfied.”

On special teams play:
“The field goal and the long punt return were great. We let one loose also. I thought our coverage was pretty good. [Alec] Vozenilek did a great job with catching some punts that were pretty high and he did a great job getting the ball off. It’s good to make plays on special teams, especially against a good team like this. “

On David Watford’s play:
“He can do better. He left some throws on the field. It started getting wet, so he left the ball high a couple of times. David is our guy. We just have to make sure he does the things we require him to do. When you look at the stats, they are not indicative of what he can do, but it is something to move forward on.”

On fans returning:
“When I had a voice, I got on the radio and urged them to come back because I knew that the BYU fans were not going anywhere. It was great to see them come back. I appreciate the fans out there for hanging here with us. It was awesome to see them.”

On experience of young players:
“They have been in college football games and that’s the thing. Even though there are true sophomores, they played as freshman last year. It was great to see those guys playing and responding. I could go on and on about Eli Harold and the other guys that played. We are only going to get better.”

On nickel defense:
“It was about what they were doing. If you noticed the offense, it was the pistol, inverted, or wishbone. There were a lot of things they do. We wanted to put speed and quickness on the field. That is what led to the personnel in this game.”

On handling the delay:
“We took their shoulder pads off and kept them hydrated. We told them that the other team is doing the same thing. I think these guys were ready and hungry to play today. Regardless of how long the game went; we felt pretty good about this team. In the locker room, there was chatter and it was great to hear.”

Virginia Player Quotes

Junior Safety Anthony Harris

On lateral after his interception that led to UVa’s winning touchdown:
“In practice our linebackers get interceptions sometimes and the coaches tell us to pitch it back to someone faster so we can go score. I figured we needed a score in that situation and the guy wrapped me up and when I turned around, Henry (Coley) was there with his arms open so I just trusted he could catch it and pitched it to him softly.”

On his interception:
“They had two guys in the same area, and I just broke on the ball. The receiver tipped it and it came to me so I just tried to catch onto it and get some yards. We didn’t have that many interceptions last year, but this year we have been trying to pressure people and working on trying to be in the right spot and today I just ended up in the right spot and the ball came to me.”

On the defense’s performance against the hurry-up offense:
“We tried to give them different looks, but at the same time we tried to keep it simple so we could play fast out there. Guys were able to stay on their coverage and give the defensive line a chance to get to the quarterback and pressure him a little bit.”

On his blocked punt:
“The first time I came free but didn’t think I used proper technique to complete the block. Luckily we came back with that penalty and I went after it and he bobbled it so I just laid out for it.”

On what they discussed during the game:
“We just told ourselves to keep fighting, keep fighting and hopefully something will come around for us and so we just tried to bow up and then luckily we caught a break. We forced the fumble near the goal line but weren’t able to hold onto it, but then we got ahold of one. “

Senior Defensive Lineman Brent Urban

On UVa’s resiliency:
“It felt great. It was really good to see the team come together and toughen up for the last drive. It’s a huge win. BYU’s a tough team and it’s great to come out with the win and now we head into Oregon with a lot of confidence so I think it will really help us.”

On the defense’s performance:
“It was awesome. They did the hurry up, but I think we did fine. We were making all the calls out there and the linebackers were flowing great. It was just overall a great defensive performance. It helped some guys shine like Eli (Harold) who just played awesome.”

On playing against a no huddle offense:
“We’ve seen it before, Louisiana Tech used it last year, and I think North Carolina also ran it, so we were used to it. We ran it a lot in training camp and stuff but it’s different once you get into the game and they’re just throwing it at you. I think we did well and we just really played a good game.”

Junior Punter Alec Vozenilek

On the special teams:
“I think we did a great job. Matt Fortin, our long snapper, did a great job and the guys protecting up front did well and that just allowed me to get the ball off and have some decent punts to help the defense and offense. Field position is always huge in football so it was important.”

On fielding a high snap, then pinning BYU inside their own 10:
“We practice it and basically the biggest thing is to get the ball exactly where we have it when it’s a great snap, and just focus and keep your eye on the ball with your head down and good things will happen.”

On his performance:
“I don’t know what my stats were. I don’t even know how many times I punted or if it was one of my best games. I had a slow start but when you have that many chances you just go out there and do the best that you can.”

Senior Guard Luke Bowanko

On overcoming the delay and the late lead to mount a comeback:
“As far as the delay goes, it’s funny because it actually happened at our final scrimmage last week. But we’ve been in that situation a bunch coming from last year. I’m proud of David [Watford] for stepping into the role and chipping away and letting his ability shine through. The defense made some plays and it worked out for us.”

On getting a win against a quality opponent to start the year:
“It’s great, especially with the schedule we have this year. This win is the biggest thing we could ask for, especially in the fashion we got it. You like to win big, but it’s good to get the confidence that no matter the situation, we have the ability to come through.”

On Kevin Parks’ game-winning touchdown run:
“That’s a play where we have two options on it. They chose the option and it worked. David [Watford] reads the front and calls the play and we go. Guys made plays and that’s what you need to do to. Somebody needs to make a play to win.”

Junior Wide Receiver Darius Jennings

On getting his foot inbounds on his touchdown catch:
“I had a few plays like that in camp. Some went my way, some didn’t. We were just fortunate enough where I did get my foot in. It was a good play by David [Watford] as well.”

On the resiliency of the team:
“I just think it’s a mindset of our team this year. We have some returning players, but at the same time we have some new coaches and players that have to step up. We’re just a tough team. We just have to keep fighting.”

On the momentum change after Anthony Harris’ interception:
“That was a big play for us. Ant had a big play earlier with the blocked punt. Then after he got the pick, the next play we scored. Just for [Harris] to step up, it was very exciting for him.”

BYU Coach Bronco Mendenhall

Opening Comments:
“I think by way of opening comment, very difficult loss for our team under really unique circumstances. Many different momentum shifts. The stop of the game was a unique challenge for our team and I’m sure for Virginia. And then all the way to the end the game was back and forth. I think our offense started to find its rhythm and momentum, started to move the ball effectively, and, to Virginia’s credit, it took a long time for those breakouts to happen. I think the fourth quarter was more of what I envisioned, the type of results we’re expecting to get. I liked the effort and determination and commitment. I thought our team played hard. A lot of mistakes, especially penalties were frustrating, and we certainly need to clean up execution wise. We had a great chance to win the football game all the way from the beginning to the end. I think our team will try hard and they are determined. I think we were gaining momentum as the game went on and not losing momentum. That’s the message I shared with the team.”

On the condition of the team in the fourth quarter:
“I thought we handled it pretty well. I thought our runners were running hard, our receivers sprinting down field. It was a starting point, I don’t think it was a hindrance I think it was a good starting point and something to build from and the pace was fast. To Virginia’s credit they played the run very well.”

On the delay of game:
“It’s hard to describe. All kinds of thoughts go through your head of whether you’re going to play the game, what is the best approach to have for our players during this two-hour delay? After all the emotions of traveling, you get to the game, stop, and then go through pregame again. That was a unique challenge. However, I think our team was mature.”

On the running game:
“The running plays were out of a completely different formation and we thought one, two or three of those plays would crack. And so even though the plays looked conservative by result, the formation, we thought would give us an advantage.”

On moving forward:
“The players are competitive. We all are and there’s a ton of work that goes into every game. Certainly no one is more disappointed than I am and the team is hurt right now. It’s a great chance to discover who we are going to be and how we are going to be going forward. It will take a day or two; this one wasn’t an easy one. We have another significant test coming up so there is a sense of urgency, but there also has to be time to recover.”

On Virginia’s field goal and managing momentum:
“As we continue to melt together and make the best use of this system for our team, we will do a better job of managing that. I had no issues with that [field goal]. We had them far enough away. I think it was a 50-something yard field goal and so I’m not sure that was a management issue. He [Ian Frye] just made a great kick.”

On the offense:
“I thought their defensive line did a really nice job against us and it wasn’t until a huge volume of plays built up where cracks started to develop and we started getting yards. We have some work to do in terms of our front play and being physical. To their credibility, they kept fighting until there were cracks. They put a long and sustained drive together in the end and they couldn’t have done that without continuing to battle.”

BYU Player Quotes

Sophomore Quarterback Taysom Hill

On the game overall
“I thought our guys played hard. We earned a lot of trust and respect for our team tonight. We had a lot of hardships; we overcame a lot of difficulties and things like that. I was proud of them. At the end of the day Virginia made one more play than we did. It’s a tough way to lose a football game.”

On the specifics of the interception
“(It was) third and six. We talked about it on the sideline, let’s go get the first down, and if it’s not there obviously don’t force anything in. They played zone behind it, Jamal Williams ripped the flat, I liked it, threw it a little high and Virginia made a good play.”

On emotions following the game
“I was shocked a little bit. I was feeling really confident. We got the ball with four minutes left in the game and were up. Then we had a mishap and Virginia went and scored, but that was something you can’t dwell on. We had a chance to go and score, and Virginia held. It’s a tough way to lose a football game, but we’re definitely disappointed.”

On whether the game plan was to get Jamaal Williams 33 carries
“Probably not, that’s quite a bit, but he ran like a man today when it raining the way that it was. The refs are spotting the ball and when there is a splash from the ground, it’s hard to get a ball that’s wet and covered in dirt and grass and everything else to pitch and catch it.”

Senior Linebacker Spencer Hadley

On the game overall
“Frustrating. We were right there. We had it and just didn’t finish as a team, so it’s frustrating right now.”

On his team’s play
“It was pretty good. There were some mistakes, some plays we need to go back and look at and clean up, which we will. But overall I felt pretty confident about our ability as a defense and how we played. ”

On the touchdown run by Kevin Parks
“We were just one gap off on one of our assignments, and the runner found it and made a good play.”

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